Background: Pelvic floor dysfunction causes high-level disease burden, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women less likely to have access to best management for these issues due to multiple sociocultural barriers. There is limited data on the impact of pelvic floor dysfunction in this specific population. Aims: To explore the impact of pelvic floor dysfunction on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women attending an urban Aboriginal medical service, considering barriers and facilitators for care, and the services that are desired to address these conditions. Methods: This is a mixed methods project utilising the validated Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire 7 in combination with qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS Version 24 and analysis included the use of means, SD and Fisher's exact test for comparison. Interview transcriptions were coded into initial themes using thematic analysis and a theoretical approach was used to capture common patterned responses. Results: The majority of women reported urinary incontinence. Higher scores on the urinary impact questions were significantly associated with comorbid risk factors of chronic cough and obesity. Salient themes from interviews included help-seeking behaviours, embarrassment and normalisation of the condition. Women desired access to a pelvic floor physiotherapist, and preferred a female doctor and a consistent care provider. Conclusion: Pelvic floor disorders cause high disease burden for Aboriginal women across a broad age range with associated comorbid risk factors frequently occurring. This study suggests service improvement and care delivery strategies that may improve long-term outcomes for Aboriginal women with pelvic floor conditions.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2022|